Paul & Julie
Wow! So we haven't updated since David arrived. We know you've all been waiting anxiously, checking daily, crying when nothing came.....

David's now almost 3 months old. He's beautiful, spirited, and has a great laugh. He is "handsome like daddy" and "loves his mommy", at least according to his clothing. Plus, we think he'll have a great singing voice. He's already hitting the high notes every time it's bedtime ;)

Paul & Julie

It's been a long time since we've posted anything. I'm officially into my 40th week of pregnancy. I've been feeling pretty good overall, just trying to find the balance between resting and staying active without overdoing it to get this little guy more motivated to make his entrance into the world. I've been "nesting" for about 2 months now, so he must be pretty particular about his nest...I've cleaned out the closets, reorganized the closets, washed his clothes, organized his clothes/blankets/etc, made a nursing cover, and my most favorite - reorganized the file drawers and shredded old papers...I think I'm ready for him to come!! I'm starting to pull out old sewing projects that I never really got started on. Although, I have really enjoyed this time...Paul & I have really tried to take advantage of spending time together going on dates, trying a few restaurants we've always wanted to try, going to the movies. But we are both so excited to meet him!

Here are some pictures...

Paul & Julie
Although most of us are now thinking about summer-time, Easter was not too long ago. And the image of new life that it brings becomes apparent with each flower or plant that springs up out of the ground, not to mention the babies on the way. We had a very interesting Easter Sunday with The Vine and wanted to share a few pictures. There were way more guests than regulars, and even fewer Jesus followers than people of other (or exploring) faiths. A definite highlight was the busting up of a pinata that one of our good friends brought for the celebration! Hope we can keep the celebration going...

Paul & Julie

Many of you are aware that I’ve (Paul) worked for Starbucks part-time for nearly three years. Wow, that’s crazy to think it’s been that long since we moved to the northwest and began our “cultural adaptation.” Starbucks has been one of the biggest parts of my own adaptation. I now crave coffee every morning; black, freshly ground, and less than thirty minutes old or you can take it back!

Yet my days at Starbucks are no more. We were faced with a situation where I was asked to increase my workload there, which was really an impossibility with church planting. A few weeks ago I had to call it quits. It’s the end of an era, and I’m going to miss many aspects of it. Most of all I’ll miss my co-workers. But I can always drop in to say hi, and possibly have just as long of a conversation as when I worked there.

In place of Starbucks I’ll be looking for volunteer opportunities as a way to be out in the community connecting with people outside The Vine. If another part-time job comes up that fits better with my current schedule then we’ll prayerfully consider it. Once Julie stops working when the baby comes, we may need to reconsider it, but we are trying to adjust our budget right now to see how her maternity leave will affect us. Please pray that I will find a good place to volunteer or, if God wills, a new part-time job.

So for now, we're down to about two bags of Starbucks' coffee in the cupboard. The withdrawal pains are coming soon!

Paul & Julie
Right now it is only 1:55 pm and Paul & I feel like we have already had a really eventful day.  It all started this morning.   Most people are aware that the 2010 Olympics are happening, so all this week the Olympic torch relay has been winding around our city.  In fact, earlier this week, I was on my way to work, when traffic got a little heavy.  Then I noticed some motorcycle police a little parade, people decked out in Canada paraphanalia (sp?) & then the torch runs by!  It was a pretty cool experience.   But not everyone in Vancouver is happy about the Olympics being here, so the torch was scheduled to come by our place earlier today.  This morning around 9:00 people started gathering at a park across the street from our apartment, including a good friend of mine to protest the Olympics.  It seemed pretty tame, just lots of signs, some people dressed up...but Paul & I couldn't stay to watch because we had our second doctors appointment at 10:00.  So we'll put a pause break on that part of the day. 

The doctors appointment went great!!  What a relief.  We also got to hear the heartbeat for the first time.  I have not been able to stop smiling since.  I'll just randomly look at Paul about once every 30 minutes and say, "Can you believe we got to hear that heartbeat?"  So exciting.  We took a little video, you might want to close your eyes so you don't see my double chins while laying back...but you can really hear it!  

How cool is that!  I'm sure most pregnant women feel this way, but it is just so awesome that all of this change is happening inside & there is a real baby in there!!!  

After the appointment, we were both so excited we didn't want to go home so we went to Grandville Island (an awesome place in Vancouver) to eat lunch.  When we got there we noticed again all of these people in their Canada stuff & the popular 2010 Red mittens.  We ate lunch, walked around the market, which is one of my favorite things to do here.  Then the torch ran by a little before 1:00.  It went in front of the market then got on a dragon boat & was rowed, I think down to Yaletown.  Check out the pictures.  

Back to the protesting...our friends Amy & Aaron had come over to our place to watch the proceedings from our balcony while we were gone to the doctor.  It ends up that there were 100s of people that blocked the road, so the torch was re-routed and the police came out on horseback & blocked the road (in front of our apartments) so that no one could get by.  Amy said once the protestors saw the horses & realized that the torch was being rerouted, the whole crowd started running toward the police on horseback!  She said some people were dressed like Ninjas!  So, Aaron & Amy then went to our roof to get a better look at what was happening, and soon one of our neighbours was up there with a bullhorn directing the protestors.  This is an excerpt off of a local website (called rabble)..."Protestors running ahead of the torch were stopped at the intersection of Charles St. and Commercial Drive by a row of police horses, as demonstrators stationed on nearby rooftops used bullhorns to guide the marchers to the torch's new route."

What a day it has been!.  

Paul & Julie
I work at a nonprofit stroke recovery centre, which means they do fundraisers from time to time to raise money & awareness.  Just a few weeks ago we had our 1st annual Gala.  Sounds fancy.  Paul & I got to dress up which we never get to do anymore.  Thankfully our friend Ian let Paul borrow a suit.  I can't believe Paul doesn't own a suit!  I've only seen him in a suit a couple times in 4.5 years of marriage.  We may have to fix that.  Anyways, the Gala turned out great.  My boss worked her tail off & did a great job.  Our staff at the centre helped throughout the night.  The food was great & we got to take home one of those edible bouquets (fruit dipped in chocolate & shaped like a flower bouquet), YUM!  

Paul & I got a package in the mail this week from a church in Decatur, Texas that gives us some support.  Paul was about to open it & then he said, "wait this has your name on it, so you should open it."  I sat down & opened the box  & it was a fun gift from the women at the Decatur church.  There were like 30 cards, which were so encouraging!  I sat & read every one of them, it was great.  I haven't even met most of these women, but their words were perfect for me.  Several of them included their favorite verses & it was just what I needed.  The box also contained all this bath & body works stuff 3 different lotions!  Hand soap!  Shower Gel!  Candles!  If I'm ever stinky, I have no excuse, because this stuff is awesome.  It was truly like Christmas, they even gave me 2 new books to read, which is perfect because I am about finished with the one I'm currently on & was wondering what I would read next.  I felt so loved & encouraged.  What an awesome surprise.  Thank you Decatur!

Paul & Julie

We live in such a cool place.  Random things occur in our community all the time.  A few weeks ago, we found out there was a random group getting together in the park across from our apartments to blow bubbles.  So, of course, we had to check it out.  There really were like 100 people (adults & kids) who just got together to blow bubbles.  It was lots of fun for about 15 minutes.  But the kids in the neighborhood were loving it.  Here are some other random things that have occurred...just this past weekend, I heard the song "beat it" out our den window, I thought it was in a car driving by, but continued, so I went to the window to see what I could see & there was a group of people dressed like Michael Jackson (MJ as some lovingly refer to him), gloves & all just dancing in the park.  I especially loved their "thriller" dance.  This is one reason why Paul & I don't have cable because often we can just look out our window.  

Since Amy & I have both been on a summer break we decided to take some time out to go to Rivendell.  It is on Bowen Island, a 30 minute ferry ride from Vancouver.  We had been there once before with the guys, but this time we took our friends Min Jeong and Dianna from church.  Rivendell is a retreat place of peace & quiet away from city noise that is for personal prayer & spiritual renewal.  It is amazing how used to the city noise you get, I had forgotten that I had not heard crickets in the longest time.  I have found that it takes almost 2 days to wind down & really be able to sit still & listen to God.  Why is it so hard to sit still & be at peace with that?  It's like you have to detox from everyday life, always on the go, always something to do.  So, this time, I really tried to focus on just relaxing in God & enjoying being His daughter.  Everyday they have a chapel service at 5:00 pm, that is always thought provoking.  We had a good time & I think next time should try to stay longer.  Although I thought I might die at the beginning of the take the ferry to Bowen, then walk up a steep hill for about 1 hour to get there.  We had all of our stuff for the trip in our backpacks & I was sore for like 4 days, guess I won't be backpacking the Appalachian trail anytime soon.  Although, Min Jeong did not flinch, she was texting her friends as we walked up the hill!  - Notice the deer in the picture with Min Jeong.